Freshmen saddle up for Western Bingo Night 


Rachel Rudisill

Freshman Niya Burks shows off her hat during Western Bingo on Sept. 22 in the RSC. The student with the best western hat would select the next Bingo card.

Freshmen wearing cowboy hats and playing bingo is not something you see every day. Every chair was filled with students competing for various dorm room supplies, such as toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Chips, queso and various toppings were served, along with candy. Students were required to yell “Yeehaw” instead of bingo to keep with the western spirit.

The event was held by transition mentors from the Office of First-Year Programs in Student Success, who help with the transition of new students to the university.

Alaejah Robinson, a sophomore majoring in health sciences, said that she became a transition mentor because she wanted to give freshmen the experience and resources that she felt were missing during her own first year.

“I hope that the freshmen can get a good experience out of this, making new friends, having fun, getting a bunch of essentials,” Robinson said. “Really, I just want them to have a fun night with their friends.”

Juan Gurrola, a freshman majoring in business administration, said that he would recommend this program to students who want to get the most out of their college experience.

“I think it’s important for me to be here and other freshmen just to get involved and be connected and use your resources,” Gurrola said. “You just have to want it, honestly, because if you took that step to go to college then you should take that step to put in the effort to want to be better.”

Lily Arens, a freshman majoring in art education, said that these events helped her to make friends, as well as create memories.  She said that it gets you more comfortable with your school.

“I enjoy coming to the first-year student activities because I think that they are a good way to have fun around campus and they are free, so that’s really nice because I don’t have to pay to come to them and I like bingo,” Arens said.

Matthew Bollig, a freshman majoring in computer science, came for the same reason that many others did: a love for bingo.

“Honestly, I just like playing bingo a lot,” Bollig said. “Bingo’s a good way to spend time, especially if you find the right group of people.”

Austin Helgerson, a transition mentor majoring in electrical engineering, said that this program is important because the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming, especially for first-generation students.

Weekly emails are sent out as a reminder of the resources available for students.  He said that transition mentors do not have to be the “perfect” student.

“They’re not like the most perfect students,” Helgerson said.  “I think that makes them more relatable. They’ve gone through their own hardship, and they’re open about it.”